Dasrathi, or Das as most of us know him, is not only an avid biker but is also one of those few who walks his talk. He is a very active member of Hasiru Usiru and is a staunch Bangalorean at heart !
Das is also a Director at CADEM and blows away the stereotype of driving around in a big car(s) if you are higher up in the monkey chain.
handing over the ‘mike’ to Das …
Avatars of Das
I’ve been cycling in Bangalore the last 9 years and have been commuting to work on a bicycle the last 5 years. A distance of 15 km each way (Sadashivanagar to my office in Jayanagar).
Through the yuckiest parts of Bangalore (in terms of traffic).
Started off with a used, plain vanilla Hercules MTB that I bought for Rs. 1400. Used it for 3 years, then bought a Thunder MTB and a Yeah (the Chinese cheapo version of the Dahon) folder.
Both got stolen a year ago, and I now have a Trek 4300 and a Dahon folder.
Why I cycle
- I wanted to make exercise a part of my lifestyle, not something that I do as a separate activity. Combining exercise with my commute seemed a logical solution.
- I want to be a part of the solution to Bangalore’s traffic issues, not a part of the problem. I believe that using an automobile is a crime anywhere in general, and in Bangalore in particular.
- I believe in doing minimal damage to the environment.
- I save time. My total commute time by bicycle is only 30 minutes more than by car. Going to a gym would have taken me 1.5 hours, so I save 1 hour a day.
- I save on gym fees. Before I started cycling, I used to spend an hour and a half at the gym every day. I never liked that because it was indoors and monotonous and I always used to look for excuses to avoid gym.
- Nice cure for Monday morning blues. Cycling to work is something that I look forward to doing every morning.
- I save on medical bills. No lifestyle diseases caused by being a city-slicker.
- Sexy legs.
Cycling in Bangalore – what bugs me
Very little. The traffic, noise and pollution do not bother me. Cycling is like yoga – I am mentally very calm when cycling. In a car on the other hand I’m irritated and tense in Bangalore’s traffic.
Cycling in Bangalore – what gives me joy
I get a whole lot of small joys
- A bus-load of kids waving to me from a bus that has stopped next to me at a traffic junction.
- Guys in cars and 2-wheelers giving me a Thumbs-up sign and smiling at me, saying “Keep it up”. Unlike some of you dirty minded people out there, I never wonder “Keep what up?”. I know the guy means “Keep the enthu up. – Just looking at you on that bike has made my day, given ME some josh”
- Getting perverse joy from getting totally drenched in a rain, mud from passing passing vehicles all over me, yelling with joy at the top of my voice because nobody can hear me anyway.
- Smelling the rain on the dry earth, police constables at traffic intersections coming over for a chat, shopkeepers becoming friends, strangers smiling at me.
Like what happened last week. I dropped by at a small shop selling silver ornaments on Avenue Rd. to get a clasp for a bracelet of mine. After he gave me one I told him “The previous one you gave me lasted just 6 months. I hope this one won’t break”. The guy says “I’m always going to give you one that breaks, so you have to come back periodically and I get to chat with you and see you on your bike”.
The bottom feeder on the road, an article I wrote 5 years ago.